Recruiting volunteers for anti-racism task force
The Garrison school district is looking for additional volunteers to serve on an Anti-Racism and Equity Task Force created over the summer, and also asking residents to respond to a survey about strategic planning.
The task force has been working on a mission statement and priorities (below). Applicants should email a letter of interest by Nov. 13 to District Clerk Dusti Callo at [email protected] stating their reasons for wanting to join the task force and ways in which they can contribute.
The Garrison Union Free School District Anti-Racism and Equity Task Force is committed to recognizing, addressing, and dismantling racism in all its forms. We are dedicated to creating, fostering, and sustaining a safe and inclusive environment in which differences are valued, respected, and supported in all areas of school life. We want to produce self-reflective students who experience academic success, who view the world with a critical lens, and who are prepared to be responsible and empathetic global citizens.
Implement racially inclusive curricula and assessments: include diverse representations of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) in literature; provide students with regular opportunities to have experiences with people from races, cultures, and backgrounds different from their own; reviewing and updating the way history and current events are taught and introducing students to ethics in both thought and practice; teach students to debate and practice having civil conversations about difficult topics with people who disagree or are different from them.
Engage all teachers and staff in ongoing professional development on topics such as: how to have difficult conversations; developing cultural sensitivity/responsiveness and culturally sustaining practices; the intersectionality of diversity; training in explicit and implicit bias. Follow up PD experiences with guidance, practice, and support.
Create a safe environment of dignity, respect, empowerment, and inclusivity by: recognizing how racism manifests in our community by assessing where problems lie and developing ways to measure helpful change.
Evaluate the work of the task force, ensure its success, and sustain the work over time.
In addition, the school board’s Strategic Coherence Planning Committee is asking community members to contribute their thoughts at thoughtexchange.com, where they can rank various development ideas. The committee will use the results to refine “how the district’s foundational documents define our working model of student success.”